Rangoon (Mizzima) – The Burmese government’s new fuel rationing limit of six gallons of petrol over a three-day period has car owners anxious and worried.
Drivers want to know how the government plans to handle the problem, according to fuel station owners.
‘Earlier, we could buy up to five gallons of petrol per day at some private fuel stations’, said a driver. ‘So, even if I needed to join the endless line, it was worth queuing up. But now, private fuel stations ration petrol at six gallons per car for three days’.
Although fuel stations were privatized one year ago, the system still has many weaknesses, say local observers.
‘Although they said it was a free market-oriented system, we cannot buy as much as we want’, said a Rangoon resident. ‘We spend too much time queuing up and the price is still high. Now we have to have a license book to buy petrol from a private fuel station and we cannot buy more than the maximum amount fixed by the authorities’.
Car owners who don’t want to queue up have to pay about US $5 per gallon on the illegal market. At private fuel stations, the petrol price is about $3 per gallon.
Some observers close to petrol station owners claim that the authorities are rationing petrol because the Htoo Company wants to double its petrol export to China.
Companies and organizations that own private fuel stations include:
1. Htoo Trading Company Limited
2. Union Solidarity and Development Party
3. Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited
4. Eden Group Company Limited
5. Shwe Than Lwin Company Limited
8. Max Myanmar Company
9. Kaung Zaw Hein
10. Yuzana Company Limited
11. Shwe Taung
12. Green Asia
13. Ayar Shwe Wah
14. Dagon International